More People Need To Know That Type 2 Diabetes ‘Can Be Reversed’, Say Experts

Not enough people know that Type 2 diabetes may be reversed through weight loss, experts have suggested.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow and University of Newcastle said both patients and doctors may not realise the condition can be reversed and called for greater awareness of ‘diabetes remission’.

“If diabetes patients are able to lose a large amount of weight they will return to normal,” Professor Mike Lean, a specialist in human nutrition at University of Glasgow, told HuffPost UK.

“We know anecdotally it happens. We’ve seen it with bariatric surgery and we’ve seen it with individuals who have not accepted the diagnosis and have got rid of it. In most cases you need to lose a large amount of weight (15kg or more). If you catch the diabetes early, there’s a chance it might reverse with less weight loss.”

Professor Lean and his colleagues have also called for better documentation and surveillance of diabetes ‘remissions’ to improve public health and reduce healthcare costs. The NHS spends almost £1 billion a year (£22 million a day) on anti-diabetes drugs, and costs are rising worldwide as diabetes rates and drug prices escalate.

Type 2 diabetes is a common long-term condition affecting 3.2 million people in the UK. It is caused when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level or the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced. This results in a person’s blood sugar levels rocketing.

Current guidelines for tackling Type 2 diabetes advise reducing blood sugar levels and cardiovascular risks, primarily with drugs and general lifestyle advice.

But many patients still develop complications and life expectancy remains up to six years shorter than for those without diabetes. The diagnosis also carries important social and financial penalties for individuals as well as poor health prospects, the researchers said.

What needs to change?

Professor Lean believes doctors should be letting patients know there’s potential to reverse the problem as soon as they’re diagnosed.

“Patients are currently told they have Type 2 diabetes and that they can take tablets to manage it,” he said. “But what they really have is this horrible, ghastly destructive disease which will damage every organ in the body.

“People need to be told about the severity of it. They need to be told to go through this difficult programme to lose the excess weight and

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Lifestyle

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